Book Review – Out of the Easy – Ruta Sepetys

Out of the Easy The 1950 French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

 Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

I loved Ruta Sepetys debut novel ”Between Shades of Gray”,  a phenomenal story line and incredibly crafted characters, therefore when I saw in the GoodReads newsletter that Sepetys had another novel coming out I couldn’t wait to read it! I was not disappointed!

In “Out of the Easy” Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.  “Out of the Easy” is the kind of story that brings you in, wraps you up and doesn’t let you go until the end. The setting of 1950 New Orleans, a touch of murder, mystery and romance adds to the layers to the storyline. The characters are rich, fully developed and surprising becoming so much more than you first suspect.  The interpersonal relationships build throughout the novel and the main character Josie grows to overcome hardships and challenges while she decides who she is and what she wants from life.

A Good Read!

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Tater Tots, Frogs and Water Boarding Bobble Heads

Friendships start and are build on many foundations – the giggly girls I met on the first day of kindergarten (Rachel & Lisa), the boy I was sold together with during high school initiation (Terry – that’s a whole other story) or the moms I meet at the PTA.

I was a military spouse (did I mention that) therefore I learned to make friends fast as I knew we would not be one place to long. These friendships were built on a common ground, as a military spouse is a rare breed. Some of these people I never saw again after a military move, some our lives crossed years later. But it’s the deep friendships that we form throughout our lives that help us understand who we really are.

A few years back I met a group of ladies, while the circumstances of that meeting may have seemed to some to be a bit odd to some, in my world I took it in stride. Due to circumstances, that I can’t go into right now – to protect the innocent, a bobble head had been kidnapped and was currently being held and tortured by this group of ladies. (Ever watched a Bobble Head be waterboarded – it’s not a pretty site).

tatertotsI came across these scoundrels in the local bar & grill  (imagine that) and while I knew this rag tag group of rebels from work, that night I saw them as something more than passing acquaintances. It didn’t take me long to realize that we shared something incredibly special – a weird, warped sense of humor!  How can you not love a group of ladies holding a Bobble Head hostage in a fight to bring Tater Tots back into the dining facilities.  Hence “The Tots” were formed and I was lovely let into the fold. My group of friends, a cast of seven very different women, each with their own special characteristics and strengths, whose common ground is not that common –  but the women I know who would do anything for me.

The Tots have taught me that it is ok to lean on people, they’ve taught me your never too old to have fun and when you do stupid things you’ll never have to do alone (reference Hairy below).

Together we have celebrated milestones, overcome heartaches and challenges, lifted each other’s spirits, buried a mylar frog balloon (R.I.P. Hairy) and bring each other back down to reality (when needed).  The most important things I have learned from the Tots, is the value of acceptance for who I am and to see my attributes as reflected through their eyes.

TOTS ROCK!!